Elizabethan era playwright and poet who is regarded as the most influential writer in English literature. The author of 38 plays and 154 sonnets, he is particularly famous for Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Othello (tragedies) and for A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, and The Taming of the Shrew (comedies).
During his youth, he likely attended the King's New School in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. His London theatrical career began around the year 1592.
His influence on the English language far exceeds that of any other literary figure. Some of his original phrases include "dead as a doornail," "a sorry sight," "foul play," "hot-blooded," and "in a pickle."
He was one of eight children born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. He married Anne Hathaway when he was eighteen and she was twenty-six. His eldest daughter, Susanna, was born in 1583, and his twins, Judith and Hamnet, were born two years later.
Shakespeare's work profoundly influenced the literary development of numerous other authors, including James Joyce (an early twentieth-century Irish author known for a brilliantly complex novel entitled Ulysses).